IgM-ELISA is an immunoenzymatic method useful for detection of IgM antibodies against a fraction of Schistosoma mansoni
adult worm antigen (AWA) that is soluble in trichloroacetic acid (AWA-TCA). This method was applied to three groups of individuals with different clinical and epidemiological characteristics, and the results compared with those obtained by other diagnostic methods: immunofluorescence test for detection of IgM antibodies (IgM-IFT) or IgG antibodies (IgG-IFT), ELISA for detection of IgG antibodies (IgG-ELISA), and two parasitological methods, Kato-Katz and miracidium hatching. The IgM-ELISA presented a sensitivity of 98%, when the parasitologic fecal examination was defined as reference diagnostic method, and a specificity of 98 and 97.3%, respectively for the group of clinically healthy individuals and other helminth carriers. A comparative analysis between the results of IgM-ELISA and those obtained by other serologic tests showed a good degree of agreement, with Kappa indices ranging from 0.95 to 0.98. The diagnostic efficacy of 97.8%, as determined with schistosomiasis patients with low parasitic burden, suggests the excellent performance of the IgM-ELISA and its usefulness for the diagnosis of schistosomiasis when applied in low endemic areas.